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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TWELVE ANGELS

GREEN GRASS IS GROWING,
BY THE CHURCH DOORSTEP.
YOU GAVE YOUR HAND TO ( GROOM'S NAME ),
YOU GAVE YOUR HAND TO ( GROOM'S NAME ),
BY THE MAIN ALTAR.
YOU GAVE HIM YOUR RIGHT HAND,
THE PRIEST BLESSED YOUR WEDDING BAND.
YOUR EYES FILLED WITH TEARS,
YOUR EYES FILLED WITH TEARS,
BY THIS SMILING MAN.
TWELVE PETAL WHITE ROSES,
ON A LITTLE TREE.
TWELVE ANGELS HAD COME,
TWELVE ANGELS HAD COME,
TO SERVE YOU WILLINGLY.
FIRST ANGEL IS CARRYING,
A FLAMING CANDLE LIGHT.
SECOND ANGEL CARRIES,
SECOND ANGEL CARRIES,
A BRIDAL BOUQUET ALL WHITE.
THIRD ANGEL IS CARRYING,
A BEAUTIFUL CHAPLET
FOURTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
FOURTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
A GOLDEN WEDDING BAND.
FIFTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
FROM GOD YOUR WEDDING VOWS.
SIXTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
SIXTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
ALL BLESSINGS FROM ABOVE.
THE NEXT SIX ANGELS,
A CROWN OF MYRTLE GREEN,
THEY PLACE UPON YOUR HEAD
THEY PLACE UPON YOUR HEAD.
TODAY TO MAKE YOU QUEEN.
O MY DEAR CHAPLET
ALL OF MYRTLE GREEN.
I AM SORRY,
TO PART WITH THEE,
THEN WITH MY FAMILY.
MY DEAR MOTHER,
I AM LEAVING YOU TODAY.
TO LIVE WITH ( GROOM'S NAME ),
TO LIVE WITH ( GROOM'S NAME ),
FOR HE AND I ARE WED.

Submitter comment: THIS SONG IS A POLISH TRADITION, USUALLY STILL SUNG IN POLISH AT
WEDDINGS. THE GUESTS GATHER IN A CIRCLE AROUND THE BRIDE AND
GROOM, AS THE BRIDE REMOVES HER VEIL. THIS SIGNIFIES THAT NOW SHE
BELONGS TO HIM. SHE PASSES HER VEIL FIRST TO THE MAID OF HONOR,
AND THEN ON TO THE OTHER BRIDESMAIDS AS THEY DANCE, SO THEY TOO CAN
SHARE HER JOY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): CHAIN ; RIGHT HAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-12-1972

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SONG

TAKE ME BACK TO TEXAS,
I'M TOO YOUNG TO MARRY.
WHITE MAN MAKE GET TO TAKE THE MONEY,
NEGRO MAKE THE COTTIN.
TAKE ME BACK TO TEXAS,
I'M TOO YOUNG TO MARRY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ENVELOPE PARALLELISM ; NEGRO WANTS TO RETURN SOUTH?

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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CHILDREN'S SONG

OH, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, BILLY BOY, BILLY BOY
OH, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, CHARMING BILLY
I HAVE BEEN TO SEEK A WIFE
SHE'S THE JOY OF MY LIFE
BUT SHE'S A YOUNG THING, AND CANNOT
LEAVE HER MA.

Submitter comment: THIS IS ALL I CAN RECALL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN ; SAINT MARK ; SAINT MARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Keyword(s): PURE DIALOGUE ; QUESTION AND ANSWER STRUCTURE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

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I WANT TO GET MARRIED (TO THE TUNE OF POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE)

I WANT TO GET MARRIED,
I WANT TO BE A WIFE.
I DON'T WANT ANYMORE OF THIS,
STUPID COLLEGE LIFE.
I WANT T'A GET A DIAMOND,
I WANT A BIG ROCK.
I NEED A MAN WITH MONEY,
I WANT TO BE OUT OF HOCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): WISH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-00-1988

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Wedding Custom

At a Polish wedding at midnight, the traditional wedding dance
takes place. The bride dances with her father, then with her
husband, while all the people at the reception stand around them in
a circle and sing "The Twelve Angels." At the end of the dance the
maid of honor takes off her hairpiece and the bride takes off her
veil and places it on the head of the maid of honor. This
symbolizes going from a fair young maiden to a married woman.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 03-00-1992

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Twelve Angels (English Title)

This song was sung in Polish, called Twelve Angels (Anoiw). As
the Mother of the Bride is taking off the veil to give to the Maid
of Honor, it is sung. The Twelve Angels are going with the Bride
for protection because she is leaving her mother and father's house
to go live with her husband.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Angel

Date learned: 00001920S

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SINGING OF SERDECZNA MATKO

THIS IS A POLISH SONG SUNG TO OUR BLESSED VIRGIN BY AN
ORCHESTRA AT THE BRIDES HOUSE BEFORE EVERYONE LEAVES
FOR THE CHURCH AND AFTER THE PARENTS' BLESSING. IT ASKS
GOD'S BLESSING FOR THE COUPLE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM HER PARENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 00001967 FALL

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MARRY IN LENT
AND YOU WILL LIVE TO REPENT.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage Time or day of ceremony

Date learned: 10-20-1968

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BRIDES MARRIED IN GREEN,
ASHAMED TO BE SEEN.
BRIDES MARRIED IN RED,
WISH YOU WERE DEAD.
BRIDES MARRIED IN BROWN,
TALK OF THE TOWN.
BRIDES MARRIED IN YELLOW,
ASHAMED OF THE FELLOW.
BRIDES MARRIED IN BLUE,
HE'LL ALWAYS BE TRUE.
BRIDES MARRIED IN WHITE,
YOU'LL ALWAYS BE RIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage Color of wedding dress

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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The Prettiest Girl

The prettiest girl, (repeat)
I ever did saw, (repeat)
Was sippin' cider through a stra-a-a-a-aw.

I asked her if, (repeat)
She'd teach me how, (repeat)
To sip some cider through a stra-a-a-a-aw.

The straw did slip, (repeat)
I kissed her lips, (repeat)
While sippin' cider through a stra-a-a-a-aw.

And now I've got, (repeat)
A mother-in-law (repeat)
From sippin' cider through a stra-a-a-a-aw.

And fourteen kids, (repeat)
All call me "Pa" (repeat)
From sippin' cider through a stra-a-a-a-aw.

The moral of, (repeat)
This sad, sad tale, (repeat)
Is: Sip your cider from a PAIL!

 

Submitter comment:

Learned this song from my father. It is meant to be sung by one "leader" and a chorus.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK ; from father

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

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Billy Boy

Oh, where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh, where have you been, charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife,
She's the joy of my life;
But she's a young thing, and cannot leave her ma.

Does she light you up to bed, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Does she light you up to bed, charming Billy?
Yes, she lights me up to bed,
With a nightcap on her head;
And she's a young thing, and cannot leave her mother.

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

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Polish Wedding Custom - Song

At the end of the reception, everyone sings:

Twelve angels carrying
God's blessing from above
Twelve angels carrying
Twelve angels carrying
God's blessing from above.

This is the refrain. After all the verses, the last one is:

My dearest mother
I'm leaving you today
To live with my man
To live with my man
On this my wedding day.

 

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; STUDENT UNION ; told at work

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

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Wedding Custom

At a Polish wedding, the bride and groom are not allowed to leave the reception before midnight. Throughout the course of the reception, members of the bridal party chant the song: "The Bride is still ours till midnight."

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

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Marriage Song

Happy the bride the sun shines on
Sad the bride the rain falls on.

 

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage

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showing 14 items

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